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Weekend Predictions: Summer's Over. Oh boy, is Summer Over!

August 21st, 2015

Sinister 2

After last week's reprieve, summer truly ends this week. There are three wide releases coming out, none of which are expected to become even midlevel hits. Also, none of them are earning overall positive reviews. The biggest movie is Sinister 2, which is expected to do well enough to earn a profit, mostly thanks to its very low production budget. American Ultra is the best in terms of Tomatometer Score—by a huge margin. However, it is still earning less than 50% positive reviews by a large margin. The biggest movie in terms of production budget is Hitman: Agent 47, which is bad news for the studio, because it is not expected to do well. In fact, there's almost no chance any of the three new releases will top Straight Outta Compton this weekend. There's a small chance that their combined openings won't top Straight Outta Compton. There is some good news. This weekend last year, there were no movies that earned more than $20 million, which is the absolute low end of Straight Outta Compton's range. On the other hand, If I Stay was the best new release with $15.68 million. That's more than any of the wide releases this year will earn and it only managed third place last year. I think 2015 will win with ease at the top of the chart, but 2014 might have better depth, keeping it ahead in the year-over-year comparison.

Straight Outta Compton opened explosively last weekend and its reviews suggest it will hold on well this weekend. On the other hand, there is the Fanboy Effect. There have been very few films about rap stars and the ones we've seen have had poor legs. 8 Mile and Tupac Resurrection are two prime examples of this result. On the low end, the film will fall nearly 70% to just over $20 million. It is possible that this will happen, but very unlikely. On the high end, it will fall only 40% earning $36 million over the weekend. That's a huge range of possibilities. I'm going with a sophomore decline of just under 60% for a weekend total of $25 million. This will be more than enough to push the film's running tally over the $100 million mark and will keep it on pace for $150 million in total.

Sinister 2 is the sequel to Sinister. That earlier film came out three years ago in October earning $48 million domestically on a budget of just $3 million. It is likely this film cost a similar amount to make, but with a worse release date, it's box office chances were never as strong. Then the reviews started coming in. At the moment, its Tomatometer Score is just 7% positive. This is awful, even for a late summer horror movie. There is almost no chance this film will open as well as its predecessor did. Even its high end is only about $16 million. $14 million seems more likely.

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation held on better than expected last weekend as it fell just 40%. If it did that this weekend, it would earn just over $10 million. The film does have direct competition to deal with, but that competition is so bad that I don't think it will have a huge impact on this film's box office, so just under $10 million is a solid target to aim for.

American Ultra is an action comedy, or to be more accurate, it is a black comedy with a lot of violence. As I've stated a number of times in the past, black comedies are really hard to get right and even when they do earn great reviews, they rarely become box office hits. This film's reviews are far from great. Its box office chances are also far from great. At the high end, it could earn third place with about $12 million, but fourth place and $9 million is much more likely. There's also a chance it could bomb out of the top five, but hopefully that's not the case.

Hitman: Agent 47 is the second Fox franchise to get a reboot this August. Amazingly, this film is earning even worse reviews than Fantastic Four earned. I didn't think that would be medically possible, but there we are. The buzz for this film is even worse. At least there were some people who were curious about Fantastic Four, as most Marvel Cinematic Universe have been excellent. I just don't see many people wanting to see this film in theaters. I'm going with $8 million and fifth place, but I can see it bombing completely allowing The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to remain in the top five one more weekend.


Filed under: Weekend Preview, Fantastic Four, Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Hitman: Agent 47, Straight Outta Compton, Sinister 2, American Ultra, Marvel Cinematic Universe